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Showing posts from May, 2013

BLACK FRIDAY, SENSEX SLIPS 455 POINTS

The BSE benchmark Sensex today tumbled by 455 points to close below key 20000-mark, wiping off Rs 1.1 lakh crore in investor wealth, on panic selling in realty, banks and PSUs as hopes of rate cut crashed after RBI comments amid GDP growth slumping to decade-low of 5 per cent. The 30-share barometer, after gaining 68 points in the previous session, tumbled 455.10 points, or 2.25 per cent to 19,760.30. This is its biggest daily loss since March 2012. HDFC, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank fell in 3-4 per cent range. Heavyweights ITC and RIL dropped by over 3.5 per cent each. L&T, SBI, ONGC and Sun Pharma also witnessed selling. All sectoral indices, barring IT, lost upto 3.3 percent. Similarly, the NSE index Nifty plunged by 138.10 points, or 2.26 percent to 5,985.95. MCX-SX flagship index, SX40 today closed 258.98 points lower, or 2.16 per cent, at 11731.91. Belying hopes of further rate cuts, the Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao's comments that there are still upside risks to inflati…
A cross-border business plan competition "Startup Dosti" is to be launched by an American think tank that will connect entrepreneurs from India and Pakistan, facilitating investment and collaboration. The new cross-border business plan competition, named "Startup Dosti", will be formally launched at an event on June 3 at the British Parliament. The competition by Atlantic Council will provide business support and seed funding to high-potential, early stage startups in India and Pakistan. A partnership between SEED Ventures (Karachi-London), the Indian Angel Network (New Delhi), and the Atlantic Council (Washington DC), the competition will be televised by GEO TV in Pakistan and an Indian broadcast partner, a statement said. Contestants will have the opportunity to win seed funding, incubation, mentorship, and access to business resources if they successfully convince a cross-border panel of seasoned investors to support their enterprises, the stat…

PRIVATE WEALTH TO TOUCH 4.5 TRILLION DOLLAR

Consultancy firm BCG today said private wealth in the country will more than double to USD 4.5 trillion by 2017, from USD 2 trillion at the end of 2012.
"Private wealth in India is expected to grow at 17.8 per cent annually until 2017 to USD 4.5 trillion," Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said in its global wealth report released today. Interestingly, the estimate comes on the same day when official data confirmed that the country's GDP growth has come to a decade low of 5 per cent in 2012-13. Private wealth in the country increased by 12.6 per cent over the previous year to USD 2 trillion at the end of 2012, up from USD 1.1 trillion in 2007, according to the BCG report. As much as 65 per cent or USD 1.3 trillion of the wealth is in the form of cash and deposits, while investments in bonds account for 21 per cent and equities account for 13 per cent, said the report. By 2017, the proportion of equity investments is expected to go up to 18 per cent, at the expense of cash a…

GOLD MORE CHEAPER IN MEDIUM TERM

Gold prices may fall by Rs 2,000 from the present levels in the near to medium term as the precious metal is losing appeal as an asset, a report by industry body Assocham has said.
The report, however, said that gold is unlikely to fall below Rs 25,000 per 10 grams due to a strong buying support at that level and a weak rupee against the US dollar.
Gold prices have come down to Rs 27,790 per 10 grams in the national capital this month from the high of Rs 32,990 per 10 grams in April. "A fall of Rs 2,000 or little more from the present level looks plausible in the near to medium term," according to Assocham report on gold.
A likely drop in gold prices below Rs 25,000 per ten grams level will attract a strong buying support and may lead to April-like situation, when the downward spiral had made buyers rush to jewellers and banks for enriching their bullion collection, it said.
The Assocham paper contended that gold prices are unlikely to fall below Rs 25,000 per ten grams for …

GROWTH SLIPS TO 5%

Economic growth rate slipped to a decade low of 5 per cent in 2012-13 on account of poor performance of farm, manufacturing and mining sectors, raising hopes for rate cut by Reserve Bank to boost economy. The growth rate in the fourth quarter ending on March 31, stood at 4.8 per cent showing a marginal improvement over 4.7 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2012-13. "Growth numbers are as per expectations," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said after the CSO released data on national income accounts here today. Commenting on the the data, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, "There is evidence the economy has bottomed out. But we still don't have evidence of a strong recovery. It is challenging to get to 6 per cent (growth) where last quarter is 4.8 per cent." According to the finance ministry, the growth in the current fiscal is likely to improve to 6.1-6.7 per cent. Economic growth or gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded …

INFLOWS TO INDIA PICKS UP

After two months of continuous outflows, Asia equities witnessed inflows last month to the tune of USD 7 billion in May and flows into India also witnessed an uptrend, an HSBC report says. According to an HSBC research note that analysed how mutual funds are positioned across Asia, "May saw a reversal of fortunes – Asia witnessed inflows after two months of continuous outflows." Asia witnessed fund inflows to the tune of USD 7 billion, after a decline of USD 1.5 billion in March and April. Meanwhile, India continued to attract inflows as well, although the pace has declined considerably from the start of this year, the inflows in the month of May were better than that of March and April.
According to HSBC, India witnessed an absolute net fund flows of USD 2.9 billion in May (till May 22), taking the total fund flow so far this year to USD 14.2 billion. In January and February India witnessed fund inflows of USD 4.1 billion, which decline significantly in March and April to U…

HOUSING PRICES UP BY 1 %

Housing prices have increased marginally by an average 1.1 per cent in 20 major cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, in January-March 2013 over the previous quarter due to slowdown in demand, National Housing Bank said today. Residential housing prices in 12 cities have shown increase in prices in this quarter ended March, 2013 over the previous quarter (October-December, 2012), quarterly update of NHB Residex said. On the contrary, eight cities have shown decline in prices over the previous quarter with maximum fall observed in Guwahati (-7.84 per cent) followed by Ludhiana (-6.71 per cent), Surat (-6.67 per cent). Besides, price correction was witnessed in Kolkata by 5.75 per cent, Lucknow by 3.18 per cent, Hyderabad 2.23 per cent and Chennai 1.28 per cent. "Property prices in majority of the cities are witnessing marginal upward trend," NHB said in a statement. Price increase was witnessed in Jaipur (28.74 per cent) followed by Bhubneshwar (14.54 per cen…

APPLE 1 COMPUTER SOLD @ 650000 DOLLARS

An anonymous buyer from Asia paid a record USD 650,000 for an original Apple 1 computer from 1976, one of only six still in working order, built by Apple co- founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The Apple 1 was one of the first 50 built by Jobs and Wozniak in Jobs' parents' garage. The computer - consisting only of a motherboard, signed by Wozniak - went to an anonymous buyer from Asia for 500,000 euros (USD 650,000), German auction house Breker said. Last year, an Apple 1 sold for 490,000 euros (USD 633,000), the BBC reported.
Only about 200 Apple 1s were ever made. About 46 remain in existence, but only six of those are still in working order. Bob Luther, author of The First Apple, called the Apple 1 the "holy grail of collectable technology". The one sold at auction in the German city of Cologne on Saturday was purchased together with an original monitor, tape-player, keyboard. The documentation was signed by Jobs.

SOCIAL MEDIA A BOON OR A BANE

Many Indian companies feel social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have improved their brand equity and stakeholder engagement but such platforms distract employees at work, says a survey.
The survey by AIMA, grouping of management professionals, found that more than one-third (38 per cent) of respondents believe that social media participation has improved their brand equity as well as stakeholder engagement.
However, about 31 per cent of the respondents were sceptical about using social media for business. Besides, only 24 per cent were found to be allowing employees to use social media sites at work.
On the other hand, 56 per cent of firms surveyed believe that social networking sites distract their employees and another 37 per cent of respondents believe that it would hamper internal and external communication.
The survey, which covered over 100 companies, saw participation of CEOs, MDs, department heads and managers, among others. Among the firms…

LEICA CAMERA SOLD @ 683000 DOLLARS

A 1931 Leica camera has sold for USD 683,000 at an auction that included rare photos and the camera that snapped an iconic shot of an American sailor kissing a nurse the day World War II ended. The rare Leica, which belonged to German winemaker Karl Henkell, fetched more than three and a half times the expected price at the Vienna sale held by auctioneers Westlicht yesterday. Other models by the famed German camera firm also fetched far higher prices than expected. 
A prototype Leica M3 estimated at 70,000 euros sold for 432,000, and a prototype Leica Reporter 250 estimated at 30,000 euros fetched 240,000. The camera used by German-born American photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt to shoot his famous picture of a US sailor bending over and kissing a young nurse in New York's Times Square during victory celebrations after Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945 sold for 114,000 euros. A signed print of the photo itself sold for 24,000 euros. A 1949 photo by American phot…

CORONATION FEVER

Want to be part of Royal history? The Buckingham Palace is selling a host of pricey souvenirs, including a carriage clock and a celebration bowl, to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Queen's coronation was held more than a year after the accession, on June 2, 1953. The souvenirs to mark next Sunday's event include a 2,250 pounds carriage clock, one of 60 made by jewellers Mappin & Webb. Other limited edition items are a 595 pounds celebration bowl, 250 pounds teddy bear, 195 pounds loving cup and 95 pounds dessert plate. Cheapest gift is a 5.95 pounds sweet tin, the Sun reported. A spokeswoman for the Royal Collection said the products were "very popular" and would help pay for the upkeep of royal residences and art exhibits. "Royal Collection Trust is always keen to ensure that its shops offer a range of products and prices. This is reflected in the current range of special commemorative Coronation items,…

MITTAL'S HOUSE FOR SALE

The credit crunch seems to be taking its toll on one of the world's richest Indians Lakshmi N Mittal, who has put up one of his mansions in central London up for sale. The steel tycoon had bought the property on Palace Green in Kensington for 117 million pounds in 2008, when it was declared the most expensive home in Britain. However, according to the 'Sunday Times', he may end up making a loss on the neo-Georgian building after it went on the market earlier this month for 110 million pounds. The 12-bedroom palatial home was bought for Mittal's son, Aditya, from Israeli-American financier Noam Gottesman. The entire first floor of the 14,736 square feet property is dedicated to the master bedroom quarters, with a separate wing referred to as "Mrs Mittal's dressing room". But Aditya, who is the chief financial officer of the family-owned steel firm ArcelorMittal, and his family reportedly never moved into the new mansion. While the house …

BBK GEOGIT JV IN KUWAIT

BBK Geojit Securities KSC, a Joint Venture between Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) and Geojit BNP Paribas would soon launch its operations in Kuwait. It will be the first company in Kuwait to offer NRIs access to Indian Capital markets, BBK Chief Executive Abdulkarim Bucheery and Managing Director of Geojit BNP Paribas C J George told a joint press meet here last night. JZ Associates, Kuwait, is also part of the JV, which has received licence from Kuwait's Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCCI). The JV will offer NRIs a wide range of services, including equity trading, mutual fund advisory, real estate advisory and PAN card processing facilities. BBK Geojit security will also offer its services to Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI) as and when regulatory approval is received. This is the second such partnership involving BBK, one of the largest banks in the Gulf region and Geojit. Earlier, the entity had offered similar facilities in Bahrain. Bucheery said BB…

TIBETANS LOVE BARLEY BEER

Ask Tibetan's about their favourite beer and they vouch for the local product - Tibet Green Barley Beer. Manufactured at the Tibet Green Barley Beer Brewery, one of the world's highest and most advanced breweries situated at Lhasa Economic Development Zone, its main ingredient is highland barley produced by local farmers. Besides, malt and rice from Australia are also used. "Our aim is to provide quality products in an environmental friendly atmosphere," Luobu Ciren, deputy CEO of the brewery, told a group of visiting foreign journalists. 200,000 million tonnes of beer are manufactured annually out of which 50 per cent of the annual output is consumed in Tibet while the rest is exported to other parts of China and also to Japan, he said. Tibet Green Barley Beer Brewery is a relatively new company set up in 2010. It is 35 per cent government funded. Last year, the company achieved a net profit of 78 million yuan. The government has given a 100 per …

MARUTI "BEAT THE HEAT"

Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) today said it is organising a campaign, under which it will offer a range of services including free checking of air conditioners, at its 3,000 service workshops across the country. Under the campaign--'Beat The Heat', the company will also offer free top wash, TrueValue evaluation and exchange. The camps will be held on May 25 and May 26 across the country, MSIL said in a statement.
"At this time, with summer at its peak, customers obviously want air-conditioning in their cars to deliver top performance. We want to address this for as many customers as we can, as soon as possible," Maruti Suzuki Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said.
"We are therefore using the entire national service network of Maruti Suzuki to service customers over a single weekend," he added. The company expects to attend to 85,000 customers across the country during the two-day …

VATICAN FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING

The Vatican today said it was a "credible partner" in the struggle against money laundering as it published its first-ever report on efforts to meet international rules on suspect financing. The Vatican "is already a credible partner," said Rene Bruelhart, director of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), who was appointed last year to help reform efforts. The FIA document said there had been six reports of suspicious financial activity in the Vatican last year and three requests of information from foreign authorities but did not provide details. The report also showed there were 598 declarations of cross-border transfers of more than 10,000 euros ($13,000) into the Vatican and 1,782 outgoing ones in 2012. "The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicate that the system is consistently improving," Bruelhart said. Bruelhart, a Swiss lawyer, previously helped Liechtenstein shed its shady reputation. The Council of Europ…

PEGEON SOLD FOR WORLD RECORD PRICE

Catch me if you can! A lightning-fast Belgian racing pigeon named after Olympic gold-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has been sold to a Chinese businessman for a world record price of USD 400,000. The Belgian pigeon 'Bolt' was sold on the auction site Pigeon Paradise. The owner, 66-year-old Leo Heremans from Vorselaar, Antwerp, sold his complete loft of 530 birds for USD 5.6 million at the auction, which was also a new record. It is expected that the new owner will use 'Bolt' for breeding more birds. The buyers of nine of the ten most expensive pigeons sold at the auction were from China or Taiwan. In 2011, a UK record was set for the price of a racing pigeon when one was sold for USD 24,147, also to a Chinese buyer. "Over the past years, a real hype has been created around the owner's pigeons, as they were doing so well in various competitions. This explains why they fetched so much money", Nikolaas Gijselbrecht of the pigeon site…

DATA SECURITY ON EMPLOYEES DEVICES A CHALLENGE

Bringing one's own device to the workplace may be aiding productivity, but it has also emerged as a major area of concern for CIOs as they grapple to secure enterprise data on such devices, a study by Cisco and the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) today said. The joint study titled 'Reinventing the Network in the Context of Security' found respondents saying that current generation of security capabilities implemented by companies can protect them from traditional threats. "However, these might not be enough to address the ever-evolving threat landscape. Therefore, companies need to re-assess their security ecosystem and evaluate capabilities of next-generation security if they want to implement BYOD (bring your own device) and mobility," Cisco India and SAARC National Manager (Borderless Networks Sales) Mahesh Gupta told reporters on a video conference. The study interviewed security leaders and CIOs (Chief Information Officers) from variou…

Xpress MONEY FREE INSURANCE COVER FOR GCC EXPATS

Xpress Money today said it has tied-up with Union Insurance in Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region to launch remittance industry's first free life insurance for Indian expats working in the region. "Designed specifically to suit the blue-collared population, this monthly renewable free life insurance scheme will be available to any person remitting money through Xpress Money," the company said in a statement. This insurance will provide a life insurance protection of AED 15,000 dirhams, including AED 5,000 dirhams of repatriation expenses of the mortal remains, it said. The life insurance benefit will be available to any person remitting money through Xpress Money for a period of one month, from the day the customer makes a transaction. Further, a remitter can avail this life insurance free of cost irrespective of the amount transacted, it said. "This scheme has been launched primarily to offer insurance cover to Indian expats from blue-collare…

3 SOUTHERN FARMER'S GROUPS GET AWARDS

Four farmers' groups from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu will be given award by the Agriculture Ministry for their outstanding work in conservation of genetic resources. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority (PPV&FR) has been giving 'Plant Genome Saviour Awards' carrying a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh since 2009. For the first time, this award has been conferred to a women self-group. "Deepaoli women's self help group from the state of Tamil Nadu is the first women help group that has been selected under the community category award," PPV&FR Joint Director R C Agrawal told reporters here today. Besides Deepaoli, PPV&FR will give awards to three other farming communities -- Seed Saver Farmers Group (Maharashtra), Sanjeevini Rural Development Society (Andhra Pradesh) and Akampadam Chimpachala Punchakkadu Padasekhara Samithi (Kerala). In addition, 10 farmers will receive award and cash prize…

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLE VERY LESS

There are not enough women in top positions in Indian companies even though nearly 90 per cent of women desire to take up leadership roles, says a survey. According to Randstad India's recent Workmonitor survey, 76 per cent of the survey respondents felt there are not enough women in top positions in their organisations, even as 89 per cent of women desire to take up leadership roles. In India, 80 per cent of respondents said there are more men than women in leadership positions. Moreover, the percentage of respondents in India who felt there are not enough women in top positions (76 per cent) is higher than in the rest of the world.
Commenting on the findings, Randstad India MD and CEO E Balaji said: "Gender diversity is a business imperative and there are proven studies to show that it results in good governance and growth of the company and its people."
Moreover, 91 per cent of Indian employees have indicated high leadership aspirations and a very n…

FII'S BID FOR 10000 CRORES GOVERNMENT BONDS

Showing strong interest in the Indian debt market, foreign investors have put in bids worth over Rs 10,000 crore to buy government bonds, bidding nearly twice the amount of the securities in a Sebi-conducted auction. The one-day auction was held on the National Stock Exchange platform yesterday for grant of investment limits to FIIs, for government debt securities worth Rs 5,533 crore, but the bids received by FIIs (foreign institutional investors) totalled as much as Rs 10,146 crore. A total of 68 FIIs had participated in the auction, although the number of successful bid stood at 26. The robust interest in government bonds comes even after Standard & Poor's (S&P) had warned last week that it may downgrade India's sovereign rating to junk grade if the government fails to pursue reforms and check deterioration in fiscal and current account deficit in next 12-month.
The FIIs need to bid for investment limits in an auction conducted periodically by Se…

GOLD & SILVER CONTINUE TO BE BEARISH

Silver today slid to the lowest since September 2010, while gold extended the longest slump in four years as investment holdings contracted and stocks rallied. Silver fell 8.6 per cent to USD 20.33 an ounce. Gold slid 1.5 per cent to USD 1,338.85 an ounce, the lowest since April 18. Prices were down for an eighth session, the worst run since March, 2009. Silver slumped 29 per cent this year, making it the worst- performing precious metal, on concern that industrial use isn’t strong enough at a time when demand is waning for a protection of wealth. Silver held in exchange-traded products dropped to a four-month low on May 17, while hedge funds increased bets on lower prices by the most since March in the week to May 14. Global equities reached the highest since June 2008.
An ounce of gold bought as many as 64.89 ounces of silver, the highest since August, 2010. Gold tumbled 19 per cent this year, falling into a bear market last month, as some investors lost faith in…

PAY HIKE WOULD BE 12 %

It is good news for jobseekers as the hiring activity is likely to see an uptrend in the coming months and salaries are expected to rise 12 per cent across industries and functions this year, says staffing services major TeamLease. According to the TeamLease's Salary Primer for 2013, hiring will increase going forward and salaries too will see an upward movement across most industries. The study that covered staff working across 318 different job profiles, 15 industries and 8 functional domains in 9 major locations in India said, hiring has registered 11 per cent growth, and salaries are likely to witness 12 per cent increase across industries and functions.

"The headwinds of global change, blowing hot and cold have only so much as reshaped the contours of the Indian labour markets for the better," TeamLease Services Sr. V-P & Co-founder Sangeeta Lala said. The study further noted that with companies striking a balance between skills and increment, attritio…

SEPARATE RULES FOR FORIEGN ENTITIES

Amid a growing number of brokerage firms, hedge funds and other market intermediaries from abroad soliciting business from HNIs and other investors in India, Sebi is considering introducing a separate set of rules for such foreign entities. The new set of rules would ensure that the intermediaries working in foreign markets maintain the high levels of compliance, as required from the Indian market entities, while dealing with the investors in India, sources said. Besides, the new norms would also help create a new avenue for Indian investors by way of facilitating their exposure to the overseas markets while safeguarding them from the scrupulous entities promising them high returns abroad without any compliance requirements, they added. There are concerns that some investors might be at a disadvantageous position in the event of any disagreement with the foreign market intermediaries servicing them in overseas markets, if specific regulations are not there to establis…

MF'S UPBEAT ON INDIAN MARKET

Mutual funds pumped Rs 4.74 lakh crore into the debt market in 2012-13, making it their biggest investment in the last 12 years. The financial year ended March 31, 2013 also marked the 12th consecutive year of net inflows by mutual funds (MFs) into the debt market.
As per the latest data compiled by market regulator Sebi, the net investment by MFs in the debt market during 2012-13 stood at Rs 4,73,460 crore -- which is the highest net inflow for a single fiscal since 2000-01, when funds had made investment worth Rs 50,235 crore.
The data for funds' investment into the debt market are not available before 2000-01. During 2011-12, MFs had invested Rs 3.35 lakh crore in debt-oriented schemes. According to market participants, funds houses have poured most of the money in debt-oriented schemes because of the better returns offered by such schemes as compared to fixed deposits in banks. Another reason for investing in debt schemes was that lower-risk associated with it than equity fund…

MAURITIUS TO ATTRACT FILM INDUSTRY

Showcasing its scenic natural beauty comprising beaches, mountains and plains coupled with modern architecture, Mauritius has launched a 30 per cent expense refund scheme for film producers looking to shoot their films here in this island nation. The government representatives are particularly targetting the film makers from India, given the historic connect between the two countries and also the popularity of Indian films here in the country. Under the scheme, the film makers would get 30 per cent refund on all the expenses incurred for shooting of their projects in Mauritius. Besides movies, TV serials and commercials would also be eligible for this rebate. A few big names like Yashraj Films have already agreed to shoot their upcoming films here once they get the right script to be shot in this country and more are likely to join in, the officials from the government's investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment, said. Besides, three films are ready to…

GOLD SEE THE WORST SLUMP

Gold today fell for a seventh day in the worst slump since March 2009 as exchange-traded product holdings shrank. A strong dollar and a US Federal Reserve policy maker said that stimulus may be reduced within months, further influenced trading in dollar-priced gold. Gold fell 0.7 per cent to 1,376.69 dollar an ounce. Prices reached 1,369.85 dollar yesterday, the lowest since April 18, and are down 4.9 per cent this week.
Silver also fell 0.9 per cent to 22.48 dollar an ounce, set for a 5.8 per cent weekly slide.
Gold slid 18 per cent this year, falling into a bear market in mid-April, as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value and equities rallied on mounting confidence the US economy is improving. The dollar traded near the highest level since July versus six major currencies as Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the central bank may begin to taper off monthly bond purchases as early as this summer. Gold ETP assets fell every …

RAREST DIAMOND ON SALE

Rio Tinto today said it was putting up for sale the biggest "red" diamond ever produced by its Australian mine amid an "explosion" in demand from Asia for the rare pink-hued stones. The Argyle Phoenix, a 1.56 carat gem, is one of three red diamonds on offer at the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender -- the first time in the 30-year history of the exclusive sale that it has included three red stones. "This is the largest red that has ever come from the Argyle diamond mine," Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson told AFP as she held the stone. "Never seen before, likely never seen again. "The diamond world will be talking about this diamond for the next few months intensely. And there will be lots of discussion about the rarity of it, the value of it." The 2013 pink diamond tender comprises 64 diamonds, including 58 pink stones, three blue ones and the three fancy reds. Such jewels routinely fetch USD 1-2 million a …

CHIDAMBARAM VISITS CROSSRAIL PROJECT

Finance Minister P Chidambaram today donned a hard hat as he visited a construction site of the new Crossrail project in east London along with his British counterpart George Osborne. Wearing a orange colour construction worker suit, Chidambaram was shown around the site by Osborne. Crossrail is a new railway across London linking Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The Crossrail would provide direct services between Canary Wharf, the City, the West End and Heathrow Airport.

OSBORNE PRIASE CHIDAMBARAM

Finance Minister P Chidambaram's reform push to revive Indian economy and restore investor confidence was today lauded by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who said he has done a great job. "When it comes to India, I think Mr Chidambaram has done a great job at telling and showing the world that India is open for business," Osborne told select Indian journalists after his meeting with the Finance Minister. Giving a resounding thumbs up to India's reform initiatives, Osborne said: "I think people had some questions a year or two ago but Mr Chidambaram has settled those doubts and the reforms he has proposed – the retail reforms, pension bill, among others – are a real sign of India's commitment to wanting to trade with the world. I think he has single handedly made a huge contribution and we are honoured that we are able to host him today". Since taking office last July, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has championed ref…

EPF CONRTIBUTORS CAN OPT THIS SCHEME

Firms can now ensure higher group insurance of Rs 1.32 lakh for each employee by opting for the Edelweiss Tokio Life-Group Life Protection in lieu of EDLI scheme provided by EPFO. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has engaged the Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance to provide this group term insurance plan in lieu of Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme 1976. Under the existing scheme, an EPFO subscriber gets insurance cover of up to Rs one lakh before superannuation. According to a circular issued by EPFO to its field offices, all those employers who would opt for the "Edelweiss Tokio Life-Group Life Protection" would be given exemption from the EDLI scheme 1976. Employers contribute 0.5 per cent of basic pay of an employee as insurance premium to the EDLI scheme every month. The benefit under the scheme is given on the basis of the provident fund balance in the subscriber's account. The subscriber gets the benefit eq…

BSE TIEUP WITH FRANKFURT SCHOOL

BSE Institute, part of leading bourse BSE, has entered into a collaboration with Frankfurt School of Finance & Management for offering masters programme in finance.The two-year MSc Finance programme, that offers an opportunity for students to study in India as well as Germany, would have four semesters.
The programme would begin in September and admission forms have to be submitted by end of July, BSE Institute said in a statement today. While the first semester would be in Mumbai, the remaining ones would be taught at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany. "This programme gives the student a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of finance and a truly global perspective by learning and experiencing financial products, services and markets in Asian and European context," said Ambarish Datta, MD & CEO, BSE Institute.
Students would also be eligible to apply for scholarships, that would pay for about 20 per cent of t…

PUT & CALL OPTION IN SHARE PURCHASE PACTS

Foreign investment in Indian firms is all set to get a boost as government has decided to move ahead with a proposal to allow "put" and "call" options in share purchase agreements to permit listed companies to buy or sell equity at a predetermined price in future.Under the Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act (SCRA), put and call options are treated as derivatives and are not permitted outside stock exchanges. The unlisted companies, however, can go for put and call options. "Strategic investors as well as private equity funds will benefit from the decision," said Bhavin Shah, partner KPMG India, while commenting on the decision of the Law Ministry to approve the proposal which has been pending for the past several months. According to Avinash Gupta, Leader, Financial Advisory Services, Deloitte India "this will definitely create a positive sentiment among investors... We will have to wait for notification to see the finer points&qu…

BORIS BECKER LOOKS AT INDIAN MARKET

After conquering the tennis world during his heydays, Boris Becker is training his eyes on India as a businessman to tap the country's vast potential in the area of sports academy and fashion items.The man, who took the tennis world by storm by winning the coveted Wimbledon title in 1985 at the age of 17, is looking to set up a Becker Private Office in Mumbai by the second half of this year in association with a local partner. "India is no longer an emerging country. It has arrived and there is a huge potential. We are working on a few projects and by the fall of this year, we will have Becker Private Office in Mumbai," Becker said here.

Based in London, Becker Private Office LLP is the company that looks after his varied business interests. When asked what were the business areas he is looking in India, he said: "I have a range of business interests, from cars to perfumes; from tennis equipment to clothing and sports centres. Setting up of sports centre …

SENSEX POLEVAULTS 490 POINTS

Markets were in a jubilant mood today with BSE Sensex zooming 490 points to close at 28-month high of 20,200 and NSE Nifty soaring over 150 points to 6,100- level on buying in realty, banks and auto shares after RBI's "happy" remark on falling inflation fuelled rate cut hopes. 
 Investor wealth, as measured by market capitalisation, surged by a staggering Rs 1.30 lakh crore as three stocks rose for fall of every two. This more than recovers Rs 1 lakh crore that was wiped off on across-the-board selling on Monday. The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer today resumed higher and gradually rose to settle at 20,212.96, a rise of 490.67 points or 2.49 per cent. Previously, it had concluded at 20,301.10 on January 5, 2011. Today's gain is the highest in percentage terms since June 2012. NSE Nifty index jumped by 151.35 points or 2.52 per cent to end at 6,146.75. Similarly, MCX-SX flagship index SX40 closed 245.6 points, or 2.10 per cent, higher at 11,92…

DON'T STAPLE CURRENCY NOTES

The Reserve Bank has directed banks to do away with stapling of note packets and issue only clean currency notes to the public. "...banks should do away with stapling of any note packet and instead secure note packets with paper bands and should sort notes into re-issuables and non-issuables, and issue only clean notes to public," it said in a notification.
It also asked banks to stop writing of any kind on the watermark window of bank notes.
Reiterating its clean note policy, RBI said instances of certain branches of banks continuing to follow old practices such as stapling, writing number of note pieces in loose packets on watermark window of notes disfiguring the watermark impression and rendering it difficult for easy recognition have come to its notice. It also said that certain bank branches do not sort notes into re-issuables and non-issuables, and issue soiled notes to public. "Such practices are against the 'Clean Note Policy' of Rese…

NSE GOLD ETF TRADING @ 691 CRORES

Registering a significant increase, gold ETFs worth Rs 691 crore were traded on the National Stock Exchange on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya today. Trading in gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) jumped nearly 14 per cent to Rs 691 crore on the leading bourse. Last year on Akshya Tritiya, the value stood at Rs 608 crore. "The number of units of gold ETF traded today were 26,98,610, an increase of more than 14 per cent from the number of units traded last year on Akshaya Tritiya, when 23,60,000 units were traded," NSE said in a statement. NSE had extended trading time for gold ETFs till 7 pm. "The turnover of Gold ETFs on the NSE platform touched Rs 926 crore in April 2013 which was 3.2 times the turnover in March 2013 at Rs 284 crore," it said. In the last few years, trading volumes in gold ETFs have witnessed consistent growth especially with good participation from retail investors on auspicious days. Akshaya Tritiya is considered an auspicious …

GOLD SLIPS BELOW 27K...NO IMPACT OF AKSHYA TRITIYA

) Akshaya Tritiya, the biggest gold buying festival, failed to trigger any buying frenzy as the yellow metal plunged below the important Rs 27,000 per 10 gm level on the domestic bullion market today. The shiny metal came under frantic unwinding from stockists and speculators against the backdrop ongoing sell- off in global markets. In contrast, silver gained modestly, attracting some retail demand amid good industrial off-take. Standard gold of 99.5 per cent purity tanked by Rs 390 to conclude at Rs 26,985 per 10 gm from Friday's opening level of Rs 27,375. Pure gold of 99.9 per cent purity slumped by Rs 370 to end at Rs 27,130 per 10 gm from Rs 27,500. Silver ready (.999 fineness), however, rose by Rs 125 per kg to finish at Rs 45,915 compared to Friday's opening level of Rs 45,790. Surprisingly, the recent drop in gold prices to multi-year lows failed to enthuse investors as sentiments took a beating on apprehension of further downside risk despite the ongoing wedding seaso…

"MAY"HEM IN MARKETS:

There was blood-bath in markets today as a wave of selling, triggered by a slew a factors like profit-booking and ballooning trade deficit, shaved over 430 points off Sensex -- its biggest fall in 14 months -- to end at one-week low, leaving investors poorer by Rs 1 lakh crore. Ignoring a fall in retail inflation to 9.4 per cent, April trade deficit data at USD 17.8 billion weighed on the stock market as the BSE benchmark ended 430.65 points lower, or 2.14 per cent, at 19,691.67. This is the biggest fall since Sensex lost nearly 478 points on February 27, 2012. Selling was seen across-the-spectrum as all 13 sectoral indices closed with losses in 0.94-3.17 per cent range with FMCG, capital goods, metal and auto shares leading downslide. All 30 Sensex-based scrips closed with sharp to moderate losses with ITC suffering over 5 per cent drop after recent rally. L&T, TCS, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, RIL and HDFC Bank were among major losers. Bharti Airtel and Tata Steel fell by over 4 per…

RAREST FEAT...MULTI STORIED BUILDING SHIFTED 50 ft AWAY

Haryana-based TDBD Engineering Works, house lifting and shifting service providers today said it has successfully shifted a two-storeyed building in the city by 50 feet, claimed to the first of its kind in the country. Though the company has shifted more than 300 buildings in the last few years, this was the first time a multi-storeyed building, with first floor, weighing 400 tonnes, being shifted, Sushil Sisodia, Managing Director, TDBD, told reporters at the site.
Since the owner, M Thangavelu wanted the house to be moved 50 feet backward to build another structure, the company, which have shifted many buildings, weighing 150 tonnes, with the foundation, took up the challenge and used 300 rollers and as many jacks in the process, Sisodia said.The shifting would cost around Rs 18 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, he said.
On problems being faced to shift such old building, Chief Engineer Gurpreet Singh said that the greatest challenge of this seven-room building, was when some …

MOBILES OUTNUMBER PEOPLE BY NEXT YEAR

M-powering! Mobile phone subscriptions will outnumber the world population by the end of next year, according to a UN agency report. According to the International Telecoms Union prediction, the cell phone subscriptions will pass a whopping seven billion early in 2014. Currently, there are 6.8 billion mobile phone subscriptions, while the population stands at 7.1 billion people in the world, 'BBC News' reported. More than a third of the global population are online, the ITU World in 2013 report also found. The Commonwealth of Independent States, the alliance of countries formerly in the Soviet Union, is believed to have the highest mobile penetration with 1.7 subscriptions for every person, the report said. Africa has the least, with 63 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, it said. "Every day we are moving closer to having almost as many mobile cellular subscriptions as people on Earth," said Brahima Sanou, director of the ITU Telecommunication Deve…

1 BAD HIRING COSTS 20 LAKHS

When it comes to companies making a wrong choice in hiring an employee, India figures among the top-four countries worldwide and the cost of one single bad recruitment could be over Rs 20 lakh, says a survey. The chances of companies taking a bad hiring decision is highest in Russia, followed by Brazil, China and India at the top-four positions, while the US is at the fifth. As per the study conducted by global human resource consultancy CareerBuilder, 88 per cent companies in Russia said they were affected by bad hiring last year, followed by 87 per cent in Brazil and China and 84 per cent in India. The percentage of such companies in the US was much lower at 66 per cent. The study further said that three in every ten Indian companies (29 per cent) reported that a single bad hire -- someone who turned out not to be a good fit for the job or did not perform well -- cost the company more than Rs 20 lakh (USD 37,150) on an average. In comparison, 27 per cent of US emp…

DRIVERLESS CAR IN TWO DECADES

Driverless cars may hit Britain's roads in 20 years with a UK minister pushing for a change in law to make it a reality. David Willetts, minister for universities and science, has revealed that he has persuaded the UK Department for Transport to relax regulations to allow an Oxford University team to test its self-drive vehicle on public roads. The move is expected to pave the way for such cars to hit the roads within 20 years. "In California they have a regulatory regime in place that permits these cars to operate on public roads. The Department of Transport is now going to introduce a regulatory regime that makes that possible here," Willetts told the 'Sunday Times'. 
The minister, who oversees technology policy, has tested Google's driverless car on the highways outside Palo Alto in California and wants British scientists to have the same freedom. The RobotCar project based at Oxford University uses a modified electric Nissan Leaf fitted w…

HOUSING PRICES MOST AFFORDABLE

Home prices may have been on an upward spiral for many years, but the cost of owning a house in India remains near the most affordable level in over three decades, shows data compiled by mortgage giant HDFC Ltd. The average price of a home, purchased with a housing loan, rose to over Rs 45 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal -- marking the fourth consecutive year of uptrend from about Rs 25 lakh in the year 2008-09, HDFC has said in a presentation.
However, factors like an even greater surge in the personal income levels, tax incentives and lower interest rates, have resulted into houses becoming more affordable to purchase, it said.
As per an 'affordability' ratio compiled for over three decades by HDFC, the average cost of owning a house stood at 4.7 times of the annual income of the home buyer in 2012-13.
The affordability ratio, which takes into account the annual income of the home buyer along with the price of the house, stood at as high as 22 in the year 1…